BOSTON — Don't count Tampa Bay's reserve designated hitter Luke Scott among those who will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park.
"As an opposing player who wants the best opportunity to get his work in, Fenway Park is not a very good place," said Scott, who spent three years with the Houston Astros and four with the Baltimore Orioles before joining the Rays this past offseason. "It's not a comfortable place. The clubhouse is cramped. There is only one batting cage and you have to walk a long ways to get there.
"Don't get me wrong," he added. "I respect the historical aspects of this place."
But Scott said the Red Sox need a new ballpark.
"Build another, bigger park," he said. "If you want to play a few games a year here, fine."
Scott isn't a big fan of Red Sox fans either. He can't understand why people call them the best fans in the game.
"The best fans are in St. Louis," Scott said. "They have a lot of passion for their team, but they also respect the opposition."
Scott told MLB.com in February that he hates Red Sox fans because he thinks they are arrogant, vulgar, cause trouble and take over cities when Boston is the road team. He said they talk about your family and swear at you.
Scott was with the O's last year when the Sox lost in the final game of the season in Baltimore and did not make the playoffs.
"I rolled down the window and I'm like, 'Ah, hah, sucks doesn't it, when someone laughs or makes fun of you when things aren't going your way,'" he told MLB.com.
Home sweet home
Fenway Park was just the right antidote for a struggling Boston Red Sox offense.
Here are some numbers to back that statement:
Of all 30 major league clubs last season, the Red Sox were tied with the Texas Rangers for the best team batting average (.296) when at home. They had the best on-base percentage (.361), the most hits (840), most doubles (199), the second best slugging percentage (.478) and second highest OPS (.839), too.
In the six-game road trip to begin this season, the Sox struggled mightily: .236 batting average, .300 on-base percentage, 341 slugging percentage, 3.7 runs a game with just two homers.
On Opening Day at Fenway yesterday, the Red Sox were back to being a dangerous offensive club.
They banged out 16 hits and won 12-2 over AL East rival Tampa Bay here in front of 37,032.
Boston knocked two-time All-Star and 2010 AL Cy Young runner-up David Price out of the game after just three innings, driving his pitch count up to 83.
That certainly was better than their free-swinging extravaganza Wednesday afternoon in Toronto when Blue Jays starter Ricky Romero threw just 104 pitches in 8 2/3 innings.
"We've been mentioning that it's a very good offense," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. "And it came out of its shell tonight against David Price, who's an ace."
The Red Sox need Kevin Youkilis to get going offensively, and he started to do so yesterday going 2 for 4 with one run scored and three RBIs.
"Youk's sac fly, that first one was a big one," Valentine said. "He battled to get it. Three RBIs for him tonight is a really good sign."
Shoppach over Salty
Former Tampa Bay Ray and current Red Sox backup catcher Kelly Shoppach made the Opening Day start instead of Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Valentine stressed it had nothing to do with Saltalamacchia, who is 1 for 13 (.077 batting average) in five games.
"This is just one of those things: the left-hander (Price) pitching and his old team in town," Valentine said. "He's hit left-handers well. That's the reason we got him. And if anybody knows this team (Tampa), I would think he does."
Shoppach had quite a day, going 3 for 4, reaching base four times. He had two doubles, two RBIs and was hit by a pitch.
Salty so far
Valentine doesn't seemed worried about Saltalamacchia's slow start.
"I think he's called really good games," Valentine said. "He's been right with his pitchers the whole time. His swings have been on but off. He's fouling off pitches down the left-field side most of the time. He's hit three balls real hard that have been caught."
Some have called Rays bench coach Dave Martinez one of the top young managerial candidates in the major leagues.
He didn't receive a call from Boston before the Sox hired Valentine, something that didn't surprise him.
"When that day comes it comes," he said. "There was a lot of speculation that I was going to go to the White Sox. If that would have happened — great. As far as I'm concerned, I'm a Ray.
"I always feel like I'll be a Ray until that day does come when someone does give me an opportunity to manage. But I'm in a great situation, learning from, I think, one of the smartest men (Tampa manager Joe Maddon) in baseball right now. I sit with him every game, every day, pick his brain and he's been great."
Martinez did not interview with the Chicago White Sox, even though he had heard he was a top candidate and even was "their guy."
"Next thing you know they hired Robin (Ventura)," Martinez said.
Martinez played 16 years in the majors for nine different teams, including the Rays (1998-2000). He was a .276 career hitter.